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Publisher's Summary

“An exceptional book” (Helen Fisher) by a leading evolutionary psychologist and sex researcher that lays out a new theory of sexual conflict, exposing the roots of the dangerous dynamics that underpin men’s predatory behavior - and what can be done to address it.

Sexual conflict permeates ancient religions, from injunctions about thy neighbor's wife to the permissible rape of infidels. It is etched in written laws that dictate who can and cannot have sex with whom. Its manifestations shape our sexual morality, evoking approving accolades or contemptuous condemnation. It produces sexual double standards that flourish even in the most sexually egalitarian cultures on earth. And although every person alive struggles with sexual conflict, most of us see only the tip of the iceberg: dating deception, a politician's unsavory sexual grab, the slow crumbling of a once-happy marriage, a romantic breakup that turns nasty.

When Men Behave Badly shows that this "battle of the sexes" is deeper and far more pervasive than anyone has recognized, revealing the hidden roots of sexual conflict - roots that originated over deep evolutionary time - which define the sexual psychology we currently carry around in our 3.5-pound brains. Providing novel insights into our minds and behaviors, When Men Behave Badly presents a unifying new theory of sexual conflict, and offers practical advice for men and women seeking to avoid it.

©2021 by David M. Buss. (P)2021 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about When Men Behave Badly

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-07-2021

Interesting ideas, but argumentation incomplete

The posited framework relies on scientific research and logical argumentation, which is fantastic. I love authors who supply sources and multiple validations to their claims. The result, I feel, was a self-consistent explanation of phenomena stemming from human sexual conflict. However, many arguments were not taken to their logical finish and remained unexplained. For instance, "why do women find dark triad men attractive" was given the equivalent answer of "because they fake or have qualities which women usually find attractive, such as confidence, status and wealth". That does not address the critical detail that being impregnated and abandoned by such a man is about the worst outcome a woman can get in the consensual part of the mating market, and so one would assume women would become excellent detectors of dark triad men. It makes no sense to find a man who will use you attractive. The cherry on the cake is the "sexy son hypothesis", which argues by a circle "women find them attractive because their sons, who are similar to them, would be attractive". Such holes in argumentation are found throughout the book. Personally I was disappointed by the (acknowledged) lack of discussion and explanation of sexual violence perpetrated by women, which could certainly be illuminated within the same framework. In short, a great book full of cool ideas, but that could use thorough questioning and gap filling.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Miss Thang
  • 21-08-2021

Must Read.

Not surprised about the reviewer who was bent this book wasn't about "wicked women". Will be reading more from this author. Thanks for putting time into this.

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  • Armand Jarri
  • 17-07-2021

Nothing new is this book.

The book offers a hardcore evolutionary perspective on human mating strategies.There is hardly anything new in this that the author didn'tstate in his earlier, and much better book, "the evolution of desire". Of course humans are not animals, and the author acknowledged this.The problem is that he is oftentimes is stating the obvious. It also very repetitive. The narration is as much robotic as the content. Not recommended.

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  • chris boutte
  • 17-07-2021

Must read book

Every now and then, I read a book, and all I can think is, “How is this not required reading?” That’s exactly what I thought as I finished this new book from David Buss. It took me way too long to read the work of David Buss, but I kept seeing people talk about his books, so right before this new book, I read The Evolution of Desire. While the first few chapters of this new book had some of the same topics from The Evolution of Desire, it was just setting the foundation for upcoming subjects Buss was going to dive into. I love evolutionary psychology, and this book discusses the reasons behind intimate partner violence, stalking and revenge after a breakup, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and so much more.

As a father and someone who is friends with many women, I can’t stress enough how important this book is. When my son is older, I’m absolutely going to have him read this book, and I think this book may help women as well, but I’m not sure. I’m going to go find some reviews from women and see if this has any therapeutic value since so many women have been victims of what’s discussed in this book. If nothing else, the book provides education and awareness so we can all do our part to change patriarchal norms to hopefully decrease instances of violence against women.

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  • Jim
  • 10-07-2021

Fascinating and informative!

Amazing! Written so everyone can understand it. Answers some fundamental questions I had about differences between men and women. Highly highly recommend this book.

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  • david
  • 09-07-2021

Monotone narrator

Horrible choice of reader. I have no idea what the book is about because I couldn’t get through the first chapter. I heard the author on a podcast and it seems like a great book. Amazon won’t allow me to return this auto book. Definitely a candidate for return and read the book.

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  • PsyMBA
  • 04-05-2021

Perhaps the most useful work on evolutionary psychology

Buss has written a work that comprehensively explores the origins of human sexual conflict. When Men Behave Badly makes excellent use of scientific research - much of which he conducted- to demonstrate the need to view human sexual behavior from an evolutionary perspective. Doing so not only elucidates the origins of many barriers to intersexual compatibility- like intimate partner violence, infidelity, and sexual jealousy- but provides a basis to address these problems. Overall, worth reading twice.

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  • Daniel Hayhurst
  • 01-05-2021

More Great Info from Dr. Buss!

Great information, worth a read/listen to better understand human nature. Reads not only as informational but as a “how to” manual on dealing with various problematic behaviors.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-07-2021

Written in Fear

I’ve listened to/read a few of the author’s titles. A lot of the information in the book reflects his status in the field. At times the book gets particularly dark, so I took some time away from it to lighten my perspective on life.
Returning to the book, I do feel that there are lessons everyone could benefit from. However, the author spends increasing amounts of time trying to appease the imagined critic. This gets tedious fast.
The author also makes some oversights in adopting this stance, such as when stating that men can’t understand what sexual assault is like for women. I don’t know if men can, I also don’t know if studies have been attempted, comparing the reports of male victims of sexual assault. It’s possible it is different, because of the risk of pregnancy, for example. Alternative gender identities would need to be considered in a thorough assessment too.
My point is - stick to the science. I would have thought this would be especially important to an Evo Psych, considering the common attacks of the discipline.
Also, I think the proposed solutions reach a limit when neuroscience isn’t considered in more depth. The role of hormones and neurotransmitters, etc. In the salience of mate choice. Proposing that people should change mate preferences, as if they are changing a brand of cereal, just didn’t seem plausible.
This book was written in fear of reprisals.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Joanna
  • 26-08-2021

Very interesting. Worth a read.

Full of insights. Learnt a lot. For me it felt like there was just something missing though? I’m terms of how easy it was to follow or something. Not sure what. Still recommend, but that’s just why it’s 4 stars from me.

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